The Republican strategy laid bare

I did not watch president Obama’s State of the Union speech. These ritualized events are almost entirely political theater with very little substance. The routine is familiar. Obama will give a speech outlining some of his extremely modest goals and the Republicans will bemoan what they claim is his pursuit of a radical agenda and his lack of willingness to engage in dialogue with them and compromise.

Right from even before he took office in 2009, Republicans had decided to block everything that he proposed (other than those things both parties agree upon in the service of the rich) while at the same time claiming that they wanted to arrive at a compromise with him. This policy is rooted in the oligarchy’s fear of medium-term trends in US politics that I wrote about before which sees this decade as their last chance to stop any progressive agenda from being implemented.

This Republican claim of wanting to compromise is particular disingenuous and has been obvious to most close observers. The Daily Show does a good job of showing what much the Washington media establishment seems to be unwilling to say.

(This clip aired on January 29, 2014. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)


  1. raven says

    It’s not hard to figure out the GOP strategy. It’s simple minded and clearly visible.

    1. Obstruct and sabotage whatever Obama wants. No matter whether it is in the interests of the USA or not.

    2. Benghazi. An attack on a US embassy in which 4 good Americans died. There were 13 Benghazi’s during the Bush administration that killed a lot more than 4 Americans.

    3. 40 votes against the Affordable Care Act. Plus blatant active sabotage.

    4. Continuous lies about Obama. He is a dictator, a commie, a Kenyan Moslem terrorist, he is black, he is a mongrel dog (Ted Nugent) and on and on.

    I really don’t think their talking points are going to work. The ACA has proven popular even among Republicans and so far is on track for predicted enrollment. The rollout was a fiasco but big deal. This always happens but it is a transitory problem amenable to fixing.

    Benghazi. Unfortunate but way things go. Reagan had the Lebanon marine base destruction, Carter had Iran embassy, Clinton had the African embassy attacks and Somalia, Bush had 13 embassy attacks, the 9/11 World Trade Center, and two expensive wars, one of which was pointless. Compared to his predecessors, Obama comes off looking good.

  2. permanentwiltingpoint says

    When Obama was elected for the first time, I think Fidel Castro said something along the lines “He is likeable; but he’ll get to learn what kind of business he takes over there.”

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